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Find information and history of the official state seal of each of the states.
Hawaii State Seal
Great Seal of the State of Hawaii
Adopted in 1959.
The regal crown was replaced by the sun and the year 1959, which was when Hawaii officially became a state. The star in the center of the shield replaced canoe paddles crossed against a sail. The seal was originally designed by Viggo Jacobsen for the then-Republic of Hawaii in 1895. The seal is a modified version of the royal coat of arms of the Hawaiian kingdom. Where the royal seal had two warriors, the state seal has King Kamehameha the Great on one side and the Goddess of Liberty on the other holding the Hawaiian flag.
The Phoenix below the shield is new. In other places, emblems or royalty were replaced by emblems symbolic of a new Hawaii.
The seal of the state of Hawaii hangs from the mauka and makai entrances to the state capitol, and is patterned after the royal coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hawaii. From the March/April 1979 issue of Aloha Magazine*, the symbolism of the seal is described:
Hawai`i Revised Statutes, Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section 5-5.
Great Seal of the STATE OF HAWAII
§5-6 Seal; commercial use. Whoever uses any representation of the great seal or the coat of arms of the State in any advertisement or for any commercial purpose or in any manner likely to give the impression of official State approval shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The preceding sentence shall not be construed to apply to the use of the seal or the coat of arms in any newspaper, periodical, book or pamphlet wherein the seal or coat of arms is printed for informational purposes only. [L 1967, c 86, §1; HRS §5-6]
In days when communications were transcribed by hand and tediously undertaken, seals served to authenticate official government documents. In this day of computers and instant communications, seals still serve the same purpose.